With flu season now officially underway, PeaceHealth physicians are urging residents to receive an influenza vaccination, as well as follow a few simple steps to help prevent spreading the flu.
PeaceHealth Medical Group at Peace Harbor has plenty of vaccine on hand and will hold two drop-in flu clinics this week at the Primary Care Clinic, Building 380:
Patients are welcome to just drop by, or call 541-997-7134 to schedule an appointment for these days or any other time that’s convenient. Vaccinations are also available at most local pharmacies.
“First and foremost, getting the influenza vaccination is the best way to avoid or decrease symptoms of influenza,” said Margie Tessin-Mason, RN, a PeaceHealth Oregon infection preventionist. “You should always cover your cough — ideally with your inner elbow — and practice good handwashing. Social distancing is also important. If you are sick, stay home; if you must be around others, consider wearing a mask.”
This year’s seasonal flu vaccine is quadrivalent, which means it’s designed to protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The viruses in the shot are inactive, so don’t worry – you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine. The vaccine is also preservative-free.
PeaceHealth joins with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, recommending that everyone ages 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccination. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to start working. According to the CDC, flu activity peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can occur as late as May, so getting vaccinated is one way to ensure that your family is protected for the duration of this flu season.
“When a large group of individuals develops immunity after being vaccinated, others who cannot receive those same vaccinations due to illness, age or previous severe reactions will be better protected,” explained Tessin-Mason. “As with any medication, get all the facts about a vaccine and make informed decisions.”
For more information about why it’s important to protect yourself against the flu, visit www.peacehealth.org/healthy-you/flu-shot-faq.